World Cup Deciding on 2026 Finals Site

World Cup
FIFA World Cup trophy and official ball of FIFA World Cup | Image by fifg/Shutterstock

While Los Angeles will be one of several host cities for the 2026 World Cup, FIFA still has to determine where the tournament championship match will be held, and SoFi Stadium may not fit the bill.

According to recent reports from The Sunday Times, concerns over the field dimensions and seating capacity may force the NFL’s newest stadium out of the running for hosting the final match.

According to the reports, the field at SoFi Stadium is too narrow and would require removing seats as part of the solution.

FIFA, the governing body for international soccer and the World Cup, has a minimum requirement of 80,000 seats for semifinals and finals matches. The changes would drop SoFi below that threshold, possibly taking Los Angeles out of the running for the final two rounds altogether.

The 2026 World Cup will be hosted in 16 different cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with the semifinals and finals expected to be played in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta), MetLife Stadium (New York/New Jersey), SoFi Stadium, and AT&T Stadium (Arlington) are some of the host sites under consideration to host the final two rounds.

While those are all NFL stadiums, SoFi seems to be the only one in danger of falling out of the race.

According to WFAA Dallas, AT&T Stadium had similar issues but solved them by using a raised playing surface to comply with the dimensional restrictions for the field. However, AT&T Stadium will still be able to meet capacity requirements.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is also a budding area in the sports industry and was just named the country’s best sports business city by the Sports Business Journal, edging out New York for the top spot.

MetLife Stadium has the largest seating capacity in the NFL and would be able to handle changes while maintaining much of that capacity.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium has the appeal of being the newest stadium (other than SoFi) and is located in one of the country’s fastest-growing cities with a track record of hosting international sporting events.

FIFA is expected to announce the site for the final two rounds of the 2026 World Cup later this year.

The World Cup will expand its field to include 48 teams divided into four groups playing 104 matches, spanning six weeks and making it the longest World Cup by seven days. It is scheduled to end on July 19, 2026.

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